Questions Emerge About French Involvement in UK’s Novichok Case

2nd April 2018 / United Kingdom
French Involvement in UK's Novichok Case Deepens Diplomatic Tensions

By TruePublica: “Evidence submitted by the British government in court on 22nd May proved, beyond any doubt, that Boris Johnson has been point blank lying about the degree of certainty Porton Down scientists have about the Skripals being poisoned with a Russian Novichok agent.”  These are the words of ex British ambassador Craig Murray.

This from the Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst: “blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent OR CLOSELY RELATED AGENT.

It’s quite clear that the analysts from Porton Down are not sure what the nerve agent is exactly. Or another way to put it – there has been no positive identification of the nerve agent involved.

of a type developed by Russia” are not the words of certainty. Suspicion or conjecture maybe, but not 100% certainty.


In response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats, Russia has sent a list of fresh questions to British authorities over the investigation into the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

A similar list of questions was sent to the French foreign ministry by the Russian embassy in Paris.

There is something quite strange about this list that needs further examination.

Eight of the 14 questions enquire about the involvement of France.

Russia wants to know on what grounds France is involved, why they are involved, what have they concluded and were those conclusions shared with the OPCW.  These are rational questions, the answers to which, are not forthcoming.

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A team of experts from the OPCW arrived early last week at Porton Down to investigate. They have stated categorically that it will not be possible to make any conclusions for at least two weeks. It will be interesting to see what they say and how they say it.


1. Why has Russia been denied consular access to the two Russian nationals, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, that have become crime victims in the British territory?

2. What specific antidotes were administered to Mr and Ms Skripal, and in which form? How were those antidotes available for the medical staff on the site of the incident?

3. On what grounds has France been involved in technical cooperation with regard to the investigation of an incident in which Russian nationals had suffered?

4. Has the United Kingdom informed the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) of France’s involvement in the investigation?

5. How is France relevant to the incident with two Russian nationals in the UK?

6. What British procedural rules allow a foreign state to be involved in a domestic investigation?

7. What evidence has been passed to France for studying and/or for a French investigation?

8. Were French experts present when biological material was taken from Mr and Ms Skripal?

9. Have French experts studied biological material taken from Mr and Ms Skripal, and at which laboratories?

10. Does the UK possess the results of the French investigation?

11. Have the results of the French investigation been passed to the OPCW Technical Secretariat?

12. On the basis of which characteristics (“markers”) has it been ascertained that the substance used in Salisbury “originated from Russia”?

13. Does the UK possess reference samples of the military-grade poisonous substance that British representatives identify as “Novichok”?

14. Has the substance identified by British representatives as Novichok or analogous substances been researched, developed or produced in the UK?



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